Spread the Wealth the Washington Way

The funneling of taxpayer money by politicians to their friends and campaign contributors has experienced a breathtaking increase in recent years due to an annual federal outlay that has exploded to over $3 trillion dollars.  The opportunity to exploit political connections for increased profit by the wealthy has reached levels not seen before.  Although the rhetoric of the current Administration is that of a Robin Hood styled "spread the wealth", the reality is that this is far from the truth.  The overwhelming majority of the stimulus package which was touted as providing jobs to the middle class went instead to wealthy campaign contributors under the guise of "public good".
One good example is Warren Buffet, the supposed "Oracle of Omaha", who has long exploited political connections to enhance Berkshire Hathaways financial returns.  Although Mr. Buffet has publically called for higher taxes on the rich, he has actually been using current tax loopholes to shelter his own income from these same taxes. And where did these profits come from?  In large part from the taxpayers.  
Upon close examination of the monies doled out as a result of TARP, it's clear that Mr. Buffet needed the TARP funds more than most. Berkshire held stock in Wells Fargo, Bank of America, American Express,Goldman Sachs, which received TARP money as well as $130 billion of in FDIC backing for their debt. Berkshire also held a substantial position in General Electric.  Without this bailout, it is possible that Berkshire would have been in financial straits.  AS Rolfe Winkler of Reuters said, " Were it not for government bailouts, for which Buttet lobbied hard many of his company's stock holdings would have been wiped out."1
Berkshire Hathaway had 30% of of their stock portfolio invested in these companies.  Without the government bailout, Berkshire would have realized substantial losses.  As it turns out, however, Berkshire made over $500 million on  a year in dividends on Goldman Sachs alone.
This was not coincidence.  Mr. Buffet was very active behind the political scene to guarantee that his stake was protected and that the companies he had invested in were protected.  
In a brazen act of sheer chutzpah Mr. Buffet had the audacity to publically complain about the bailouts in his annual letter to Berkshire investors, claiming that Berkshire was damaged by these bailouts!
The ones most harmed by this insider (yet legal) "insider trading" of political connections for profit is the taxpayer.  The Obama Administration has, not only played along, they have exponetially increased the amount and frequency of taxpayer funded grants to assure that their wealthy patrons are assured of profits due to government largesse, while publically campaigning on a "spread the wealth/class warfare" platform.  
Apparently this administration doesn't believe in spreading the wealth very far.

Post a comment (* required field)

Name *
Email * (will not be published)
Comments *